From John Fay’s article in today’s Enquirer.

Money saved in Casey’s deal will not be used for the raises due arbitration-eligible players. “Arb-eligible players have been included in the budget,” O’Brien said. “All of them.”

The Reds had discussions with Barry Axelrod, Matt Morris’ agent, about the free agent right-hander Wednesday. “We had a lengthy meeting,” O’Brien said. “It’s still in the preliminary stage.”

Morris arguably is the best free-agent starter left on the market. He has a 101-62 career record and a 3.61 ERA. He’s a former 22-game winner.

He would be the Reds’ No. 1 starter.

Funny thing about John Fay. He has no problems taking shots at managers, GMs, owners, players after they’re gone. I bet he wouldn’t have said, “With Lindner as owner, Casey’s a Red for life”, before the sale of the team was announced.

Also, in another article, the Reds offered Aurilia arbitrtion.

Reds manager Jerry Narron spelled out what Aurilia’s role would be to Aurilia’s agent, Barry Axelrod.

Axelrod called the Reds at 9 p.m. to express Aurilia’s wishes to return.

Clubs often offer players arbitration with the understanding they won’t accept it, in order to buy more time for a deal. That could be the case with Aurilia. Had he not been offered arbirtration, he wouldn’t have been able to re-sign with the Reds until May 1.

Aurilia probably would get the bulk of the playing time at second base. He hit .282 with 14 home runs and 68 RBI in 426 at-bats for the Reds and played solid defense.

Some other tidbits

KEISLER OUT: The Reds opened a spot on the 40-man roster by releasing left-hander Randy Keisler. That allows the club to make a selection in the Rule 5 Draft today. The Reds pick eighth.

CRUZ BACK? The Reds re-signed Jacob Cruz to a minor-league contract and invited him to major-league camp. Cruz, 33, set a Reds record with 20 pinch-hits last season.